Australian High Court: ISPs Are Not Liable on Copyrights

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Australia's High Court dismissed the film industry's appeal against Internet service provider (ISP) iiNet on Friday. The court's five judges unanimously dismissed the appeal after deciding that iiNet "had no direct technical power" to prevent its customers from downloading unauthorized content using the file-share service BitTorrent.

The court found the infringement notices sent to iiNet by the film industry did not provide adequate evidence for the ISP to send warning notices to its customers with threats of suspension or termination of service. The film industry wants ISPs to send notices as well as disconnect users, following allegations of unauthorized copying. ISPs assert that it is not within their responsibility to determine the guilt in such cases, and the High Court affirmed this.

However, The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) which represented the studios in court, is already pressuring the Australian government to amend or change copyright laws to protect its clients against unauthorized copying. AFACT managing director Neil Gane asserted that over half of iiNet's net traffic is for BitTorrent file-sharing.

Michael Malone, CEO of iiNet, commented that the the film industry should instead focus on increasing the availability of lawful content in a timely manner. He added that iiNet is open to working with the studios to accomplish this.

Attorney-General's Department has been mediating talks between industry rights-holders and ISPs over the last seven months. In these talks, AFACT is proposing legislative action to deter infringement.

Thanks to errinundra for the news tip

Source: The Age

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